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EDITORIAL: A month after, Buhari fails to replace ministers who resigned to contest

It is exactly a month and eight days after some ministers resigned their appointment to pursue political ambitions seeking to occupy offices through the conduct of the 2023 general elections, the president is yet to replace any of them.

Technocrat Media

It is exactly a month and eight days after some ministers resigned their appointment to pursue political ambitions seeking to occupy offices through the conduct of the 2023 general elections, the president is yet to replace any of them.

President Muhammadu during a valedictory session for the ministers who resigned to pursue elective positions had announced that he will replace them without delay.

President Muhammadu Buhari during the valedictory session for the outgoing ministers. Credit: Nigeria Gov/Twitter

In an official memo, Buhari had directed all members of his cabinet seeking elective positions to resign from office.

The presidential directive appeared to be a hot one as the media aide of the president, Garba Shehu also said “anyone who refuses to resign would have someone decides for them”.

More than a month after, the president is yet to replace the ministers despite his promise. 

The affected ministers who resigned to forge ahead with their ambitions include Godswill Akpabio, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs; Rotimi Amaechi, Ministry of Transportation; Uche Ogah, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development; Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, Ministry of Education; Tayo Alasoadura, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and Ogbonnaya Onu, Ministry of Science and Technology.

How they won and lost out in APC primaries

Rotimi Amaechi, the immediate past minister of transportation came the first runner-up in the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential primary election between June 6 and 8 at the Eagles Square in Abuja, the federal capital territory (FCT).

Godswill Akpabio, the immediate past minister of Niger Delta affairs announced his withdrawal from the race on the day of the primaries and directed all his supporters to vote for the eventual winner, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a former Lagos State governor. However, Akpabio ran back to his home state, Akwa-Ibom to present himself for the senatorial primary election even though the process had been concluded and a winner had emerged. 

According to Daily Post, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has rejected the primary election which produced former Senate Minority leader, Godswill Akpabio as the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in Akwa Ibom Northwest Senatorial District. The Akwa Ibom State APC Chairman, Stephen Ntukekpo, had said he was directed by the national working committee (NWC) of the ruling party to conduct a re-run over alleged infractions. Then results from the fresh primary said Akapbio emerged the winner with 478 votes, while DIG Ekpo Udom (rtd), who won the first primary, secured only three votes. But the State’s INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Mike Igini, INEC would only recognise the winner of the primaries monitored by the commission. 

According to Vanguard, the NWC of APC has sent the name of Godswill Akpabio to INEC as the candidate to fly the party’s flag for Akwa-Ibom North West senatorial district in the 2023 general elections.

Ogbonnaya Onu, the immediate past minister of science and technology participated in the APC presidential primaries. His speech was centered on how the South Eastern of the country has been marginalised. During the announcement of the results of the election, Mr Onu only managed to score one (1) vote. 

Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, the immediate past minister of state for education, failed to show up to participate in the APC presidential primaries. He said his show up at the party’s primaries was because of its refusal to zone the ticket to the South-East, according to Daily Trust.

Tayo Alasoadura, the immediate past minister for state for Niger Delta affairs who was contesting for senate in Ondo Central district also lost his primary election. 

Uche Ogar, the immediate past minister of state, Mines and Steel Development won a factional Abia APC governorship primary.

The six vacant ministerial positions

The president’s promise to replace the outgoing ministers “without delay”, is yet to see the light of the day, after one month and seven days. Six ministries are currently running without ministers, even when the APC has concluded its primary elections across the board.

The vacant positions include the minister of state for education, minister of transportation, minister of mines and steel development, minister of science and technology, and minister of Niger Delta Affairs, minister of state for Niger Delta affairs.

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